Singapore once again takes the crown as Asia’s best city for expatriates, according to the Mercer 2018 Quality of Living survey which grades 231 cities according to factors like banking services, political stability, healthcare, electricity and crime. The top placement for livability comes just one week after the Economist ranked the Southeast Asia hub as the world’s most expensive city, showing that there may still be some hope of getting what you pay for.
The city-state ranked 25th globally in the quality of life contest, making it one of only three Asian cities to rank in the top 50 worldwide, with Tokyo and Kobe jointly holding the 50th position.
European Centres Waltz into Top Spots
European cities secured eight of the top ten cities worldwide for quality of living, with Vienna, Austria topping the charts at number one for a ninth straight year. Vienna is followed by Zurich at second, while Auckland, New Zealand and Munich jointly hold third place.
Singapore’s top ranking in Asia, a spot it also held last year, puts it well ahead of regional rival Hong Kong, which placed seventh in the region and 71st globally. Hong Kong placed behind the the Japanese cities of Yokohama which placed 55th worldwide, Osaka at 59th, and Nagoya at 64th. Asian cities also scoring in the top 100 were Seoul at 79th, Taipei at number 84 and Kuala Lumpur at 85th.
Singapore’s priciness placed it first on the Economist ranking due to the high cost of owning a car, as well as the unaffordability of apparel.
Mainland China Still Not All That Livable
[adrotate group=”11″]For all of their economic might, mainland China’s top-tier cities failed to break into the top 100 with Shanghai at 103rd, Guangzhou and Beijing sharing the 119th place. Shenzhen has the worst ranking among Chinese first-tier cities by taking the 130th place. Last year the survey had ranked Shanghai at 102 and Beijing placed at number 119 for the second year in a row.
Despite ranking behind their regional competitors in Hong Kong and Singapore, residents of China’s biggest cities can rejoice that they have rank well above the region’s cellar dwellers, with the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka coming in the last place regionally (216th globally) after being dinged for sanitation concerns.
The report is published by Mercer, an HR consulting firm, which claims its rankings can help “companies and organisations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff.”